You’ve been working from home since the first quarter of 2020.
You’ve received the dreaded email.
It’s time to go back to work in the office.
Instead of sticking your head in a pillow and screaming, take a look at why working in the office isn’t all that bad.
This may not seem like a big deal, but those who struggled with this balance understand all too well.
Early on, most workers were advised by freelancers and ‘professional’ work from home employees to separate your work from play. If you had a work laptop and a personal computer, use them accordingly. When you start mixing work and play, you find yourself watching YouTube at noon and emailing during dinner.
Your brain needs separation. Your commute to and from work often become your pre-game and post-game ritual. When you arrive home, you leave your work behind and can enjoy your personal time.
Working from home creates a blur and your mental health likely suffered. Instead of work and play, you had a mixture of the two. Are you supposed to be working or relaxing? You end up with a watered down version of both.
Going into the office allows a distinct separation. Relax while you are at home and work while you are in the office.
Texting and direct messaging is not the optimal way to form friendships for most. Of course, it’s entirely possible to create great relationships with others while working remotely, but it’s rare. Group projects and collaborations allow employees to share experiences and develop bonds. When employees are separated by a screen or technology, it’s harder to gauge interest and nonverbal cues.
Social connections are important for all employees. Humans need social interaction. Individuals that spend too much time in solitude see increased levels of stress. Working in an office, even with individuals you don’t have a strong connection with, can help lower anxiety and depression.
Research shows finding a friend at work improves overall performance and innovation.
With better performance comes increased future earnings.
It’s difficult to learn from others when others aren’t around. Most successful entrepreneurs and leaders had mentors that helped them along. When you are hired into a company, it’s unlikely that you are the best at your position or the most knowledgeable. It takes practice and the ability to observe.
Strong teams have great training programs and co-workers that are willing to help. Many companies have struggled with onboarding remote employees. Handbooks and training guides can only tell you so much. New employees are forced to learn through trial and error, leaving them vulnerable to embarrassing mistakes.
Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others. - Brandon Mull
Mistakes are often avoided by hearing someone else’s story or just simply asking a tenured employee what to do. There is no faster way to success than being surrounded by a team that pulls you up to their standard.
I can’t imagine too many homebuyers decide where to live based on the internet speeds. In 2020 this became a major concern.
Some remote workers found themselves being asked to work from home where the internet speeds and cellular service were less than desirable. Even if you lived in an area with high speeds, how often did you find yourself sharing the connection with a videogame streaming teenager?
Not everyone was able to create an optimal working environment. Maybe you had double monitors and easy access to a printer. Some of the workforce was just happy to get a clean end table to work from.
Many workspaces at the office were created for optimal performance and productivity. Heading back to the office will likely make you more efficient and better at achieving your goals.
Video meetings, phone conferences, and group chats make it difficult to connect. We know the importance of social interaction, but it impacts more than just your mental health.
Great ideas are formed during team huddles and meetings. Sometimes you need a team leader standing in front of a whiteboard, jotting down ideas. These meetings spark innovation and creative solutions. Brainstorming can be very difficult virtually.
To form a team mentality, you need to meet as a team. Getting your workforce together for a corporate kick-off initiative or to celebrate this month’s birthdays helps bring your team together. A strong team, working together for a common goal, is necessary for development.
Although all of these reasons might not personally effect every employee, there’s a strong likelihood that one of these reasons resonates.
The introverts might not need interaction, but they could use the expert opinion of a coworker.
You might have the fastest internet connection at home, but you struggle putting that laptop away at 5:30pm.
There is no doubt that there are positives and negatives to both home and the office. Evaluate your current circumstance. It might be time for you to get back to your daily commute.